1521 - Is ActivPanel receiving RS232 commands? | Promethean Support

1521 – How do I check that the ActivPanel 2, 3 or 4 is receiving RS232 commands?

Applicable to:

  • ActivPanel


This article assumes that your computer does not have a serial port.

Recommended hardware and software

  • ActivPanel version 2, 3 or 4
  • USB to serial converter, with appropriate drivers installed
  • Straight RS232 cable or crossed RS232 cable: you may need a crossed RS232 cable, depending on the capabilities of the USB to serial converter in use
  • Windows PC
  • Hercules 3.2.8 (Freeware)
  • ActivPanel RS232 codes from article 1487

Before you begin

Ensure the ActivPanel is on standby, indicated by a red LED in the bottom right hand corner.
Disconnect all cables from the ActivPanel, except for the power cables.
Download Hercules 3.2.8 and save it to your desktop.
Connect the USB to serial converter to a USB port on your computer.
Connect the relevant RS232 cable to the converter.
Connect the RS232 connector to the RS232 IN port on the side of the ActivPanel.

Testing the ActivPanel for RS232

Open Hercules and click on the Serial tab.

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Set the following options:
Name – The COM port the USB to serial converter has been assigned on your computer, e.g. COM5.
Baud – 38400
Data Size – 8
Parity – none
Handshake – OFF
Mode – Free

Ensure that the first HEX checkbox is selected at the bottom of this window.

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Click Open.

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If the correct serial port is selected in the Name dropdown, the following message will be displayed:

Serial port opened

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We will now send three commands to confirm that the ActivPanel is receiving them correctly. The first command to send is Power On (69 53 43). Type the command (including spaces) into the first field and click Send.

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You will now see data and text displayed in the Received/Sent data window: this is the ActivPanel boot process. The ActivPanel will begin to start up. Wait until No Signal is displayed on the ActivPanel.

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You can now clear the text in the Received/Sent data window by right clicking on the text and selecting Clear Window.

In order to send further RS232 commands to the ActivPanel, we need to tell it to start listening to the RS232 port.

To do this, send the LAN command (69 34 62) by entering it into the first field and clicking Send.

You will see some additional text appear in the window which signifies that the ActivPanel has successfully received the command: bOKOK.

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You can now send any of the RS232 commands listed in article 1487.
We will send the Menu command (69 80 16). If the menu is displayed, then the ActivPanel is receiving RS232 commands correctly.

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Additional Information

When setting up third party controllers, the type of RS232 cabling required is dependent on the controller capabilities, and in some cases, what you are using. The ActivPanel RS232 IN port is classed as a DCE type device.

If your users never use the remote control or power button to power on the ActivPanel, then we recommend that your Power On command follows this rule:

Power On command (69 53 43) – 30 second delay – LAN command (69 34 62)

All other commands can be sent without the need to wrap LAN around your command.

If your users will be using the remote control and power buttons then we recommend the following structure:

Power On:

Power On command (69 53 43).

All other commands:

LAN (69 34 62) – 1 second delay – [COMMAND] – 1 second delay – LAN (69 34 62).
This ensures that the ActivPanel listens for a command, responds to the command, and then stops listening.

If you still need technical support, please contact us.